Mentoring at a Teaching Institute
An Opportunity for Growth and Development

If you're interested in coaching or mentoring
at a Pacific Crest event, please contact us!

 

As an advocate for the philosophy of Process Education, Pacific Crest seeks to inspire educators to develop their students into self-growers and works with faculty to help them grow and develop their skills with certain key educational processes (teaching, learning, mentoring, curriculum design, and assessment). The three-day Teaching Institute introduces the philosophy of Process Education and offers various strategies and techniques for implementation. However, as participants have commented, "a teaching institute is just the starting point; there is so much more to learn."

For this reason, those who have participated in an institute are encouraged to continue their growth and development by attending additional events. One opportunity available to those who have been through a teaching institute is to be a mentor at a future institute. As a mentor you experience an institute from a unique perspective, different from that of a first-time participant. You are able to observe, explore, and help facilitate the faculty development process while not being completely immersed in the process. Mentoring is a rewarding experience where many new insights are gained.

Note that mentors can continue their growth toward becoming a facilitator of events. Other stages along the path include: senior mentor, co-facilitator, lead facilitator, and assessor of facilitation.)


Mentor Benefits

Mentors at a teaching institute can expect to:

  • develop a greater understanding of the theory behind the philosophy of Process Education.

  • come to a greater appreciation of the role feedback plays in the growth process (by assessing performance in real-time and documenting those assessments).

  • understand and become more skilled at "affect" management.

  • learn more about peer coaching (including receiving assessment feedback about your peer coaching).

  • learn more about facilitation (with the opportunity to facilitate an activity and have your facilitation assessed).

  • receive consulting regarding the implementation of your own Process Education efforts.

  • be a contributor on a facilitation team; including developing a strategy for an institute, making decisions to help participants, and helping the host institution meet short term needs develop a long-term vision.

Note that mentors do not pay a registration fee for attending an event. They are responsible for the other costs associated with the event (e.g., travel, evening meals, and lodging).


Mentor Responsibilities

Mentor a team of 4-7 faculty participants who will work together during the institute; (occasionally, a person may be asked to serve as the mentor for two teams).

Performance assessment

Produce an assessment for each activity that includes strengths, areas of improvement, and insights. Keep your notes in a journal or notebook so that you can share this information when needed with your team and the facilitator.

Affect management

Be aware of how your team members are feeling throughout the institute. Respond in a caring manner but avoid accommodation. Take a few minutes after each activity for transition, including personal and team reflection. Check with each person to determine how he or she is feeling. Provide assurance when needed so that a person knows his or her feelings are not unique (especially for feelings of frustration). Affirm that you are there to listen and help each person on the team get the most out of the institute.

Team advocate

Be sure to collect your teamsí goals and review them constantly. Make sure that the content of the teaching institute is meeting and addressing your teamsí individual and group goals. Notify the facilitation team concerning any urgent matters regarding any individual from your team.

Model the performance of a Self-Grower

During the course of an institute, a mentor is expected to:

  • share his or her personal experiences from which others may benefit and learn from; share how you have grown in your teaching, learning, research, or service.

  • seek to improve his or her own performance at learning.

  • be willing to contribute and take on several challenges during the institute.

  • produce a self-assessment of his or her performance at the Institute; look at growth and development that occurred.

Participate as a member of the Facilitation Team

Facilitate an activity (not a requirement, but highly recommended)

It is important for institute participants to see a variety of models of facilitation and realize that there is no one correct or preferred style. Participants want to be able to see how their current teaching style matches with what they see the facilitators doing. Also, facilitating an activity in this environment, with readily available peer coaches, is an excellent way to improve your own facilitation skills.

Record in the journal

An extensive journal is kept on a laptop computer that captures information and knowledge (much of which is unique) generated during an institute. This journal is distributed to participants after the event. Each mentor will be asked to contribute to the recording of activities and discussions.

Participate in mentorís meetings

The facilitation team will meet during breaks and at the end of the day (or in the morning before the start of the institute) to assess, make plans for the future, and address "affect" management issues. Mentor input is essential to helping the lead and co-facilitators meet the needs of participants and provide a quality faculty development event.

Perform peer coaching

Each mentor will be asked to provide at least one peer coaching report (using the SII format) during the Institute.


Mentor performance criteria

The main criteria for which a mentor will be assessed are (1) his or her willingness to take risks, (2) the quality of the feedback provided to his or her team, (3) the degree to which the mentor displays a caring (but not accommodating) attitude, and (4) the degree to which the mentor contributes to helping his or her team meet their goals for a Teaching Institute.

Assessment Process

Each mentor and facilitator will receive assessment feedback from participants as part of the overall institute assessment. Mentors and facilitators will also receive peer assessments. The lead facilitator is responsible for packaging assessments and presenting them back to the mentors and the facilitators.